K-obsession: Indonesians emerge as top K-pop content creators on TikTok

Songs by K-pop girl group TWICE and Lisa of BLACKPINK are popular among TikTok users. Photo: Instagram/@twicetagram and @lalalalisa_m
Songs by K-pop girl group TWICE and Lisa of BLACKPINK are popular among TikTok users. Photo: Instagram/@twicetagram and @lalalalisa_m

A fresh study by TikTok has underlined Indonesians’ obsession with K-pop, showing that users from the archipelago are the top content creators on the platform in terms of K-pop influence.

The study explains why you often come across K-pop elements embedded in posts by Indonesian TikTok content creators when you’re scrolling through the app.

In a release received by Coconuts today, TikTok unveiled its insights and trends around the genre in conjunction with its first-ever upcoming K-pop centered conference, 2021 Kpop Radar TikTok, which will be held on Nov. 17. The video sharing platform has grown to be influential on the global music industry, with numerous hits reaching the ears of mainstream audiences after going viral on the app.

The study is developed in collaboration with Kpop Radar, a K-Pop fandom data service operated by music start-up Space Oddity. According to the analysis, K-pop-related content on TikTok has tripled over the last three years ⁠— from 33.5 million 2019 to over 97 million as of September 2021.

Around 92.8 percent of the videos were made outside South Korea, with Indonesians emerging as the top creators at 16.4 percent, followed by those in the Philippines (13.5 percent) and the US (8.7 percent). Other Southeast Asian countries in the top 10 K-pop content creators list are Thailand (4.8 percent), Vietnam (4.4 percent), and Malaysia (2.8 percent).

Photo courtesy of TikTok

Other highlights in the study include popular songs used by K-pop fans on the app. A trend has been observed in which fans use TikTok to reconnect with older hits, and thus sparking their resurgence on the app, such as popular girl group Twice’s What Is Love and rapper CL’s Hello B*tches, or hits by second gen boybands including BIGBANG’s BANG BANG BANG and SS501’s Making a Lover.

Some artists also reached a new level of popularity after their songs went viral organically, such as Mommy Son with F The World featuring rapper/singer Wonstein and Colors by singer-songwriter Stella Jang. Other examples include Money, a smash hit by BLACKPINK’s rapper Lisa.

“TikTok has changed how people consume and experience K-pop, with fans, from Korea, Singapore and across the globe, now having the space and tools to re-create and re-imagine their favourite content,” Jay Bae, Head of Global Business Development at TikTok Korea, said in the statement, adding that the platform plans to continue driving initiatives to support both artists and their fans.

“TikTok has certainly made its mark in the music industry, joining the ranks of LPs, radios, and television. We are grateful to be a part of this ongoing movement to support the genre and its community.”

Also Read:

How one Indonesian man punched his way ⁠— and banana trees ⁠— to viral fame

‘Geprek’ ice cream is a smashing new dessert trend in Indonesia

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